30 years ago, legendary Indian Hip-Hop emcee and songwriter Sidhu Moose Wala, real name Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, was born. The pioneering artist, who left an unprecedented impact on Indian rap music, was born on June 11, 1993, and rose to far-reaching global prominence for releasing iconic rap albums including the “PBX1” LP and “Moosetape”.
Moose Wala, killed on May 29 last year just ahead of his 29th birthday, was a lethal artistic force to reckon with. His music often glorified his humble beginnings and a ruthless rise on the global stage with provocative honesty.
Across his brief yet affecting discography, Moose Wala worked with numerous global rap pioneers and established his stature as one of the greatest ever to do it.
For many, Moose Wala represented the voice of an unheard generation. When Punjabi rap music was mired by commercial music and unnerving underpinnings of female galore, sex and self-absorbing flexes, Moose Wala breathed pure confidence into the often overlooked sub-genre.
During his shortlived rap career, Moose Wala derived strength and expressed his support for poverty and revolution and fought against vehement political marginalisation of Punjabi rap music – a theme which can be traced back to the earliest origins of Hip-Hop/rap in the West.
Further, the historic rap trailblazer stormed through the global rap scene with his avant-garde visuals and body of work. His third LP “Moosetape” truly captured his rise to unprecedented fame and generational wealth. The world was in shock when the son of a retired Army officer Shri Balkaur Singh Sidhu and Charan Kaur dropped incendiary bars at the highest level.
While his hard-hitting pieces of music “Burberry”, “Bitch I’m Back”, “So High”, “Moosedrilla”, “Death Route”, “GOAT” “Badfella”, “The Last Ride” and more paved the way for Punjabi gangsta rap music – a crucial Hip-Hop sub-genre lost after Yo Yo Honey Singh’s cult classic “International Villager” and the sudden rise of commercial Punjabi music, Moose Wala‘s “Sidhu Son”, “295”, “Game”, “Selfmade” and “Aroma” were an evocative dive into the lives of a Punjabi artist who is often misunderstood.
Rest in Peace to the greatest to ever do it.
Moose Wala turns 30 today.
Listen to Sidhu Moose Wala’s debut body of work ‘PBX1’ here via Spotify.